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Robin Thicke, Paula Patton Separate: Miley Cyrus VMAs Stunt a “Big Test” on Their Marriage

Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus perform at 2013 MTV Video Music Awards
After Robin Thicke and Paula Patton announced their separation after eight years of marriage on Feb. 24, a source tells Us Weekly that the "Blurred Lines" singer's controversial VMAs performance with Miley Cyrus was a "big test" on their union.

Did the lines get too blurry? Robin Thicke and wife Paula Patton announced on Monday, Feb. 24 that they were calling it quits on their eight-year marriage. Though multiple sources told Us Weekly the split was a long time coming, a source close to the "Blurred Lines" singer tells Us that their marriage got even rockier after Thicke's raunchy, headline-grabbing performance with Miley Cyrus at the 2013 VMAs.

Related: PHOTOS: Robin Thicke and Paula Patton -- the way they were

"The Miley Cyrus fiasco was a big test of their relationship," the insider reveals of the lascivious "We Can't Stop" and "Blurred Lines" mashup. "He asked her to help him out as a friend and a wife, and defend him and the performance. He begged her to speak out for him and be there for him."

"She agreed to be the good wife after he begged and pleaded," the source explains. "Then he asked her to stick with him through awards season, and she agreed. She attended the Grammys with him as a favor."

Related: PHOTOS: Craziest moments from the 2013 VMAs

Indeed, the Baggage Claim actress, 38, also appeared on the Today show on Sept. 18, and defended her husband's controversial VMAs performance. "They rehearsed for three days. Robin told me in advance," Patton said of Cyrus, 21, twerking with Thicke, 36. "I thought it was great."

When asked to share the secret to their happy marriage, Patton replied: "At the end of the day it's love. We're still madly in love."

"I'm not that uptight. I'm not a traditionalist," she added. "We're both artists and I want him to express himself however he feels, and he let's me do the same."

Related: PHOTOS: Miley Cyrus' raciest outfits

Though Thicke and Patton put on a united front throughout awards season, the damage to their relationship was apparently already done. The couple, parents to son Julian, 3, released a joint statement announcing their separation on Monday. "We will always love each other and be best friends," they told Us. "However, we have mutually decided to separate at this time."

"Their marriage was unraveling a long time," the insider tells Us. "It is not a shock to Robin or Paula, and it is something they have discussed for a long time."

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